Tom Hooper has explained his reasons for casting Eddie Redmayne as transgender woman Lili Elbe in The Danish Girl
, a biopic about one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery.
Speaking to Screen Daily
, the director - whose past work includes The King's Speech
and Les Miserables
- also acknowledged the criticism leveled at the project for not casting a trans actor in the part.
"Eddie was really the person I wanted to make the film with, and I was very passionate about that," he said. “I think also there’s a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in him, that I found intriguing and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role.
“I felt that there was something in him that was drawn to the feminine. That was something that I felt he might be interested to explore further.”
He added: "I think there’s a tremendous pool of talented trans actors out there, and I think there’s probably a journey to go on to make sure that talented trans actors have the same access to opportunities both in front of and behind the character as cisgendered actors.
“I hope we’re at the beginning of a revolution that will improve access for trans actors and trans filmmakers - but there’s a long way to go."
The 42-year-old did admit, though, that the fact the film is even being made is encouraging.
"What’s extraordinary is when I first fell in love with the idea of making this film, it was perceived to be a very hard film to finance," he said. "And now people talk to me as if it was an obvious film to do, and that’s just in five or six years."
A first trailer for The Danish Girl
is has premiered today, with the film's UK release slated for January 1... just in time for Eddie to chase his second consecutive Oscar.
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